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Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP | Sep 24, 2019

Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP Recovers $3.97M Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case

Categories: Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice in the United States

Medical malpractice is considered the third leading cause of death and disability in the United States. When a patient is harmed by the actions, choices, or omissions of a medical professional, they may have grounds to pursue justice and monetary damages through civil litigation. At Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP, we are aware of the many physical, legal, and financial hardships a patient can face in the aftermath of a medical malpractice incident. For this reason, our trial-tested lawyers take great care in providing compassionate guidance, comprehensive legal services, and aggressive advocacy to the wrongfully injured of Ohio.

Today, Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP is proud to announce that Attorneys Nicholas DiCello and Kevin Hulick have recovered $3.97M on behalf of a client who suffered serious facial nerve damage during an operation.

Negligence in the Operating Room

Our client, a 58-year old IT consultant, underwent a temporary artery biopsy procedure at Cleveland Clinic in July of 2016. Tragically, the surgeon failed to localize the plaintiff’s temporal artery before making the first incision, and instead cut into a critical facial nerve. This procedure, which usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour, lasted over 2 hours as a reflection of the surgeon’s negligence. Once the anesthesia wore off, the plaintiff woke up and immediately suffered intense and lasting pain.

In the following weeks, the plaintiff continued to experience pain symptoms and side effects that are not commonly associated with temporary artery biopsy procedures. After meeting with various doctors, she was eventually diagnosed with permanent facial nerve neuropathy on the right side of her face. For over a year, the plaintiff continued to meet with specialists and unsuccessfully experimented with a variety of medications and pain-relieving treatments. A pain management doctor finally started prescribing monthly ketamine infusions to mitigate the plaintiff’s excruciating pain symptoms.

Cleveland Clinic Denies Liability

As a policy, medical providers are reluctant to admit fault for any malpractice events or injuries that could result in future litigation. The Cleveland Clinic proved they weren’t the exception to this practice by repeatedly denying liability. During the trial, the defendant’s pain management expert also claimed that the ketamine infusions were an unreasonable treatment method, and instead suggested a peripheral nerve stimulator implant and opioid drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), over 130 Americans die from opioid overdoses on a daily basis, making it a questionable treatment option for someone suffering chronic pain symptoms.

During the one-and-a-half-week jury trial, Attorneys Nicholas DiCello and Kevin Hulick litigated on behalf of our client and proved that the surgeon failed to localize her temporal artery during the surgical procedure. They also brilliantly exposed the “expert’s” lack of credibility during the cross-examination.

Due to Attorney DiCello and Attorney Hulick’s combined efforts, the jury concluded (8-0) the following:

  • The Cleveland Clinic failed to provide the plaintiff with a reasonable standard of care.
  • The surgeon’s act of negligence resulted in the plaintiff’s permanent nerve injury and pain.
  • The surgeon acted with conscious disregard for the patient’s safety

The jurors awarded the plaintiff over $2 million for a lifetime of ketamine treatments, the amount Attorney DiCello requested during his closing argument, and $1.75 million to compensate her pain and suffering. To avoid the punitive damages phase of the case, Cleveland Clinic offered the plaintiff a settlement of $3.97 million. In other words, our trial lawyers recovered a settlement that is $1.4 million over Ohio’s non-economic damages cap.

Rely on Trial-Tested Legal Representation

Recent studies suggest that at least 5% of all patients suffer preventable harm in American medical facilities. If you or a loved one has been harmed by the actions of a negligent health care professional, please contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP as soon as possible. Our client-driven legal team can investigate your case, consult with medical experts, calculate your claim’s maximum value, and represent your interests both in and out of court. With our assistance, you can recover a settlement or verdict that achieves your legal and financial objectives.

Contact Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLPat (216) 600-0114 to arrange a free consultation with our medical malpractice attorneys.